A Year of Yes

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I recently watched the movie “Yes Day” with my kids. I was hesitant to watch it because I didn’t want them getting any ideas! The premise of the movie is that for one day the parents agree to say yes to everything their children ask. The parents set a few rules about how much money could be spent and a distance they could travel, but other than that the answer had to be yes.

The morning of the Yes Day, the kids enter the room with a poster board containing their 5 Big Asks that were to be revealed later. And the movie continues with a lot of foolishness and falls and family fun ending with a good lesson and maybe a tear or two shed. As I was watching this movie, I began to wonder if this is how we sometimes approach God.

We want a YES DAY from Him. And not just a YES DAY, but a YES LIFE. We want every request answered the way we want it and within our timeframe. I have a very active imagination so I imagine myself entering heaven with a bright green poster board, approaching God’s throne: “Here are my Big Asks for you, Lord. I want more money than I know what to do with. I want my kids to be smart and talented and get into a good college. I want my business to be booming! I want my marriage to be picture perfect. And can you please keep me healthy despite the trash I continue to consume everyday? Oh and I ask this in Jesus’ name, so now you have to do it.”

I don’t think any of us would really approach God like this. At least I hope not! But I wonder if he ever feels like we do? As a parent, there are times when I do. I have actually told my kids “Do not ask me for anything for the rest of the night!”. I don’t think God would say that; he’s far more patient than I am!

But as I thought more about this, I began to wonder what would happen if we gave a YES DAY to God? What if whatever Big Asks God had for us, we did them. What if when we saw the homeless person and felt the pull to buy them dinner, we did it? What if we prayed for the cashier at Walmart that is clearly having a bad day?

In September 2015, I was at a conference hosted by my church called “Say Yes”. If you haven’t been to a Women’s Conference, I highly recommend you try one out. It’s on my to do list for this year. But during the praise and worship, I clearly heard the voice of God tell me, specifically, He needed me to say yes. I can’t explain it but I could feel that whatever I would be saying yes to was going to be big.

Three months later, my husband asked if I would be interested in moving across the country to his hometown. I already knew the answer. I knew this was what God was telling me to say yes to. A few months after moving, my father in law/pastor asked me to start a Women’s Ministry at the church. I was terrified but I said yes.

I’m reminded of another woman in the Bible who knew what it was like to say yes. Mary, the mother of our Savior, was approached by an angel of the Lord at a very inconvenient time. She was preparing for her wedding to a carpenter and I’m sure she wasn’t expecting this interruption. But what began as an interruption became a life changing invitation.

Mary had questions. Oftentimes when we’re asked to do something for God we will have questions. Google has spoiled us! We can get the answer to any question in a matter of seconds. How tall is Jennifer Aniston? (She’s 5’5″, I know you wanted to know!) Thankfully, God is gracious and doesn’t want us in the dark. We don’t always get the full details but there are times when God tells us exactly what to do.

In the first chapter of Luke, Mary asks the angel how could she become the mother of the Messiah since she is a virgin. The angel tells her “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35).

Then Mary gave the answer I believe God desires from all of his children. “I am the Lord’s servant” (Luke 1:38). Now I don’t know anyone with a servant nor have I met a servant, but I do know that servants serve. Servants respond to the call of their master with yes.

One of our greatest examples in scriptures, the apostle Paul, who wrote almost half of the New Testament, opened many of his letters introducing himself as a “servant of Jesus Christ” (See Romans, Philippians, and Titus). And Paul was next level! He started churches, taught people how to live a God-centered life, proclaimed the gospel to the Gentiles, all this while being imprisoned, shipwrecked and victim to an occasional beating for doing these things to further the kingdom!

But like Mary, Paul knew the benefit of being a servant of God. They both knew that obedience was better than sacrifice. Servants say yes. Servants seek to please their master. Jesus himself came to serve. Matthew 20:28 says, “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

We don’t even have to give our lives for many, only to one. But I won’t lie to you. It’s becoming increasingly harder to say yes to the things of God. There are so many distractions that even 25 years ago weren’t an issue. We have to be even more deliberate about how we spend our time so we can give God our best yes.

Next week, I’ll continue this line of thinking with “Being Distracted from a Year of Yes”. There are things that the enemy uses, and not all of them are bad, that can cause us to miss out on the opportunity to give God a Year of Yes.

If You Love It, You’ll Do It

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“If you love me, keep my commands” -JESUS

It’s that simple. If you love something you do it. No one has to force us to binge our favorite show or nag us to eat our favorite dessert. I’ve never begged my son to play is favorite video game or pleaded with my daughter to color with me. In fact, it takes very little persuasion for us to do the things we love.

I recently completed a 18 mile run for my marathon training. To my surprise, it went really well. I had been having some setbacks in my training, so running this distance at such great ease was very reassuring for completing the 26.2 miles I have awaiting me in a few days.

I posted my run on Facebook and a few people later told me they couldn’t believe I ran that far. “I could ever do that!” was also a common phrase. I remember when I first started running, I felt the same. A marathon? NEVER! But then again, I hadn’t fallen in love with running yet.

Almost 4 years into my running, I can truly say I love running. I love running in the heat or the cold. I love running fast and slow. I love running here and there, I love running everywhere! Sorry for getting Dr. Seuss on you, but it’s true. I now love running. t is no longer a struggle to put on my shoes and get out the door, no matter the distance.

When you love something, it’s not a chore. When Jesus told us in John 14:15 that we show our love for him by doing what he says, I believe he had this idea in mind. That the things we love are easy to do. We don’t need to be better about reading our Bible more; we need to fall in love with the Bible. We don’t need to try to make it to church more than once a month; we need to fall in love with the church, who Jesus calls his bride. We don’t need to be better about giving the tithe to God; we need to fall in love with obeying his word and blessing his kingdom.

We sometimes overcommit ourselves and schedules things we don’t even love. Or even like for that matter. I heard something that I will clean up a bit for this clean blog: IF IT’S NOT A “HECK YES”, IT’S A “NO”! I learned a few years ago that life is too short to fill with obligations and undesired commitments (I’m not talking about responsibilities like work, parenting, etc. if you don’t love these things, you can’t quit, you just need to ask God to help you make some adjustments elsewhere!).

When we fill our lives with the things we love, life doesn’t seem as demanding. Memories can be made because we aren’t just rushing to the next thing. We make time for what matters most. This week, commit to doing something you love, or would like to fall in love with, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Read you Bible, read a book, color a picture, do a puzzle, play a game with your kids. You don’t need more time, you need to love it more!